US Congressman Dan Malloy compared Donald Trump’s rhetoric to the one that came before Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination.

READ: Letter From Orthodox Rabbis Urges Donald Trump To Repudiate Racism

Forty modern Orthodox rabbis in an open letter called on Donald Trump to repudiate racism during his speech to the AIPAC policy conference.

The rabbis from throughout the United States, who said in the letter posted online Friday that they “care deeply not only about America’s relationship with Israel, but the values and character of this special land,” also called on Trump to denounce the language of hatred and xenophobia.

Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, will be speaking Monday at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, D.C.

“There is no mitzvah in the Torah repeated more often than the embrace of the stranger,” the rabbis wrote. “The Jewish story is itself the history of exiles seeking shelter; of refugees seeking asylum. And since it became a sovereign nation, Israel has proudly stood by and supported peoples of all backgrounds in their times of need: From Haiti to Taiwan; from Sudan to Nepal. Jewish tradition demands that we look past what separates us and instead keep our eyes trained on our shared humanity.”

The letter was posted on “The Rabbi’s Bookshelf,” the blog of Rabbi Yosie Levine of The Jewish Center in Manhattan.

The rabbis also called on Trump to “reassure our community that you understand that there can be no moral equivalency between a sovereign government acting in self-defense on the one hand and a terrorist organization committed to genocide on the other.” They urged: “Let your listeners know that you would never strong-arm Israel into negotiating a peace deal when Israel has no partner for peace.”

An Open Letter to Donald Trump

March 18, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump:

We are writing to you as you prepare to address the largest pro-Israel gathering in North America. We care deeply not only about America’s relationship with Israel, but the values and character of this special land. We hope you will use this occasion to articulate the values that friends of Israel hold so dear.

To begin, you should use this opportunity to categorically repudiate racism. There is simply no place for it in our shared discourse. As the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel enshrined in law its commitment to protect the rights all of its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex. When the Jewish people returned to Israel after centuries of persecution and exile, they chose to pursue a path of inclusivity. Rather than perpetuate a culture of prejudice, they chose instead to create a culture of tolerance. Freedom of worship is sacrosanct in the Holy Land and upon its founding, Israel’s government vowed to safeguard the holy places of all religions. You should declare in no uncertain terms that bigotry is as dangerous as it is wrong.

We also call upon you to denounce the language of hatred and xenophobia. There is no mitzvah in the Torah repeated more often than the embrace of the stranger. The Jewish story is itself the history of exiles seeking shelter; of refugees seeking asylum. And since it became a sovereign nation, Israel has proudly stood by and supported peoples of all backgrounds in their times of need: From Haiti to Taiwan; from Sudan to Nepal. Jewish tradition demands that we look past what separates us and instead keep our eyes trained on our shared humanity.

Finally, you need to reassure our community that you understand that there can be no moral equivalency between a sovereign government acting in self-defense on the one hand and a terrorist organization committed to genocide on the other. The pro-Israel community is starving for peace. The notion of shalom represents one of our greatest aspirations – one for which we pray daily. But a lasting peace will only come with the help of a political ally who recognizes Israel’s right to self-determination. Let your listeners know that you would never strong-arm Israel into negotiating a peace deal when Israel has no partner for peace.

Mr. Trump: In these fraught times, make it clear to the pro-Israel community that you stand not only with Israel’s people, but with Israel’s principles. We cannot abide a discourse that inflames intolerance and foments fanaticism. The future of our people is too important.

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein Rabbi Herschel Billet Rabbi Yisroel Ciner Rabbi Daniel Cohen Rabbi Mark Dratch Rabbi Yitzchok Feldman Rabbi Joel Finkelstein Rabbi Barry Gelman Rabbi Yaakov Gibber Rabbi Yaakov Glasser Rabbi Efrem Goldberg Rabbi Zev Goldberg Rabbi Ezra Goldschmiedt Rabbi Moshe Grussgott Rabbi Kenneth Hain Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld Rabbi Joshua Hess Rabbi Daniel Korobkin Rabbi Simcha Krauss Rabbi Joel Landau Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz Rabbi Yosie Levine Rabbi Marc Mandel Rabbi Adam Mintz Rabbi Jonathan Muskat Rabbi Elazar Muskin Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky Rabbi Zev Reichman Rabbi Shaul Robinson Rabbi Zvi Romm Rabbi Allen Schwartz Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg Rabbi Mordechai Sevy Rabbi Adam Starr Rabbi Josh Strulowitz Rabbi Mayer Waxman Rabbi Jay Weinstein Rabbi Neil N. Winkler Rabbi Alan J. Yuter Rabbi Dovid Zirkind

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

READ: Letter From Orthodox Rabbis Urges Donald Trump To Repudiate Racism

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close